Every time I hear “No new taxes, “I want to answer with, “And no new programs.” Missouri Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Jay Nixon recently announced his “plan to restore the 2005 health care cuts, expand access to more children and help families manage costs.”
How he is going to do this? By using technology, market forces, more effective and efficient health care system, and focusing on prevention and individual responsibility. I don’t believe all of this can be done without increasing taxes and Mr. Nixon has made a commitment not to increase taxes.
The first lecture I heard about controlling health care costs was by two medical costs experts from a University of Michigan hospital. That was in the mid-1970’s and health care costs have continued to rise every year above inflation rate. Further, as the Baby Boomers retire, health care costs are predicted to sky-rocket. By restoring the 2005 health care cuts, Missouri will be faced with large budget deficits and the state will be forced to make massive cuts in education and social service programs.
There is no quick fix to this problem. It is time our elected officials are honest with the citizens. If we want to take on the health care problems of Missouri, we are going to have to pay for it with higher taxes.
(The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. Louis Public Radio.)
Lowe "Sandy" MacLean is vice chancellor emeritus, University of Missouri, St. Louis, and is active in local political and community organizations, including the Grand Order of Pachyderms (GOP), a service organization for the Republican Party.